The most important lesson I've learned is to not use "failure" as a reason to quit. Sometimes we get so motivated we end up setting ridiculously unreasonable goals and when we don't live up to them, we use that as an excuse to just quit completely. Changing from an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle is a process. Changing old habits means replacing them with new ones, not just eliminating them. Sometimes life interrupts these changes. But it really is just falling down and picking yourself up again. I mean really, if you slip shoveling the driveway, are you just going to sit on your butt and say, "I'm done. No more shoveling for me. I'm just going to sit here and freeze to death instead." NO! You'll get up, brush yourself off, finish the job, and go about your day. By all means, take a day off if you need to, but don't quit! This is your gift to you. You deserve it!
I have been using Sparkpeople because I find it's the only thing that keeps me on track. I've struggled with my weight my entire life. There was one moment in my early twenties where I joined Jenny Craig and lost 50 lbs, yet it was just a moment! I kept it off for about a year and then low and behold it came back on and then some. I now am the largest I've ever been weighing in at 250.
I feel the thing that has helped me the most is staying accountable for myself. I have done this by partnering with my mom. Every night we tell each other our calories for the day and how much we exercised. Our goal is to stay within our healthy calorie limit and exercise at least 15 minutes each day. Most of the time we do more, but at least we have done something that day if we're not motivated. THis has been the most successful strategy for me yet!
I joined spark during a challenge we were having at work. We were having a biggest loser challenge, and one of my co-workers told me about this site. I didn't use the food trackers or even the fitness trackers that much when I joined. Actually I didn't really use the site to the full potential at all until about the middle of 2011.
At that time I requested to be a team leader, thinking that would give me more motivation to get active. Because I wanted my team to be successful and I didn't want to let them down. But I still struggled due to things going on in my personal life. But my team continued to give me support even though I wasn't doing what I should have been doing.
So in 2012 I decided it is time to focus on myself and get back on track. I have started using the food tracker to get an idea of how many calories I am eating a day, and surprisingly I am only eating between 1200-1300 a day. I am also logging my fitness minutes and so far this month I am doing well with getting at least 30 minutes a day.
I have never been a person to wear makeup, but I have realized that I am getting older and a little makeup does help. So this year I have also started wearing a little makeup everyday, and that makes me feel better about myself. I do feel I am a beautiful person, and wearing the makeup makes me feel that I look good. I am not sure it is a motivator, but I also feel better about myself. And I think when you feel better about yourself it helps with your journey.
I am trying to blog more and get to other people's blogs too, because we are all working towards the same goal and we are here to help each other. So even if I am having a good day someone else might be struggling and need a word of encouragement. I know I like seeing comments on my page or a spark goodie, because it shows there are people out there that care.
I also joined last year to find inspiration. I realized that I could not do it alone. I needed to set goals and make a commitment. Well, looking back after a year I have not lost weight but I haven't gained, so i just managed to stay around where I started. I believe I would have been at a much higher weightt had it not been for spark people. My goal this year is to LOOSE weight and log onto spark everyday and read what other people are doing. I wasn't as faithful last year but hearing that people are still still struggling is encouraging for me. thank you for sharing LTurtle and best of luck! let us know how things go.
I'm LTurtle, and I joined SparkPeople a year before my wedding. I started using the trackers and committing to a daily yoga session and better food choices. It totally worked! I lost more than I thought I would, and I am so grateful SparkPeople was here for me.
After the wedding came the honeymoon and temptation around every corner. I felt like I needed a support group, because once I stopped keeping true to my commitment to health, I felt helpless. The holidays destroyed me!
So I'm happy to be here and back on track. I re-started up the food/exercise trackers yesterday, and I already feel better. I think that's a major key to staying focused. I know it's hard to find motivation to use them, believe me, but I truly believe they make all the difference!
Our team member Melissa(Lturtle) suggested we have a blog for all team members to write about different health and weight loss topics. You can share why you started this journey, what motivates you, an exercise you have found that is fun and works well, or just whatever you think might help another teammate along their journey.
It would be great to hear all the stories of why we joined the spark when we did. It seems a lot of us on the team are getting back on track and refocused this year, and I think knowing you have someone supporting you along the way is one of the best motivators to keep it up.
To start off this blog I am going to post an email I received with tips to staying on track:
1. Drink Plenty of water or other calorie free beverages 2. Be choosy about nighttime snacks - be sure it is a low calorie snack after dinner if you need one 3. Enjoy your favorite foods - just remember to have them in moderation 4. Eat several mini-meals during the day 5. Eat protein at every meal 6. Spice it up - "food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying" 7. Stock your kitchen with healthy convenient foods 8. Order children's portions at restaurants 9. Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables 10. Always eat breakfast 11. Include fiber in your diet 12. Clean the cupboards of fattening foods 13. Lose the weight slowly 14. Weigh yourself once a week 15. Get enough sleep 16. Understand portion sizes 17. Eat more fruits and vegetables 18. Limit alcohol to weekends 19. Chew sugarless gum 20. Keep a food diary 21. Celebrate success(but not with food) 22. Get help from family and friends - all of your friends on spark are there for you!
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